As is usually the case, voter registration swells in the weeks before a presidential election. Bridgeport, Connecticut’s most populous city, has 44,229 registered Democrats, 4467 registered Republicans and 19,530 registered unaffiliated. What happens in Bridgeport Nov. 6 could be a deciding factor in the U.S. Senate battle between Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon with multiple polls showing a dead heat. Both camps, each with campaign operations in Bridgeport, are working city voters.
Murphy is working it to run up the largest plurality as possible. McMahon is working it to pick off unaffiliated voters to keep down Murphy’s margins. In campaigns winning is relative. Depending on what goes on in the rest of the state, a city vote percentage of close to 30 percent for McMahon would complement the Republican’s expected gains in suburban and rural communities. Four years ago in the Barack Obama city tsunami that helped carry Democrat Jim Himes to victory over Republican Congressman Chris Shays, 59 percent of registered voters turned out, including thousands of new voters. Shays received about 20 percent of the vote. Until 2008, Shays had never performed lower than 30 percent in the city in his 20 years in Congress. Was it one and done for those new voters energized by Barack? Or will they vote again?
Murphy, in particular, cannot afford a breakdown in Bridgeport turnout. The Murphy and McMahon campaigns are throwing verbal bombs multiple times per day with scorched-earth radio and television spots dominating airwaves. The candidate who finds a way to break out from the static to explain what he/she will do in Washington probably wins this race. By the way, do you know what either one of them will do?
From Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill:
Hartford: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today reminded eligible voters in Connecticut that voter registration deadlines for the November 6, 2012 presidential election are fast approaching. Voters who want to register by mail must have their registration cards postmarked no later than Tuesday October 23rd and the final deadline to register to vote in-person at town or city offices is Tuesday October 30th. Secretary Merrill is also reporting that the number of registered voters in Connecticut continues to rise, with another 40,000 new voters registering since the voter registration report on September 25th and more than 130,000 new voters registering so far in 2012.
“For all of the campaigning that has taken place in the last year, there remain just two weeks to register to vote in Connecticut before this crucial Presidential election, and I urge every eligible voter: don’t sit on the sidelines. Register now so your voice can be heard on November 6th,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s top elections official. “The leaders we choose to serve us in Hartford and Washington, D.C. will have great impact on our state and country for years. We have many competitive races, and every vote is going to count in 2012. If you are not registered, you must put your forms in the mail by next Tuesday October 23rd. You have until the following Tuesday October 30th to register in-person at your town offices. Time is running out to register, so I encourage everyone concerned with the direction of our country and our state to register to vote now so you can cast a ballot on November 6th.”
Secretary Merrill also reported today that the total number of registered voters in Connecticut is 2,026,137. The largest group of registered voters in Connecticut is unaffiliated, accounting for 842,335 voters. There are 744,729 registered Democrats and 422,312 registered Republicans. (A complete list is attached.)
Since the beginning of this year, at least 130,586 Connecticut residents have become newly registered voters. Of those, there are 45,625 new Democrats, compared to 23,379 new Republicans and 58,310 new unaffiliated voters.
Secretary Merrill urges any U.S. citizen aged 18 or over to go online at www.sots.ct.gov to find out if they are registered to vote, download voter registration forms, find out where their polling place is located, or download an application for an absentee ballot if they will be out of town or physically unable to be in their polling place on Election Day Tuesday November 6, 2012. Polls will be open that day from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. statewide for the Presidential election.